Yesterday I failed the #28daysofblogging challenge, but there were things I really had to take care of that I didn’t have any time to sit down and blog. It happens … I guess that is why I should always have a few posts prepared in advance, but that’s so not me. Today I had an enjoyable first day of winter break, and I should be able to blog each day for the rest of the month.
Today also felt like spring might be arriving soon. So I thought I’d rather show you spring photos than any more snow ones. The main attraction I wanted to visit for my birthday two years ago when I went to the region of Trabzon was Sumela Monastery. Rize [here] and Uzungöl [here] were stunning, but Sumela Monastery – or Sümela Manastırı in Turkish – is magnificent. Christians first built a monastery on the mountain in the 4th century, the oldest buildings which still exist are from the 14th century. Although you can hike through the Altındere valley and then up the cliff up to about 1,200 m, I naturally drove up in my rented car. The street is alright, I only had problems parking because first of all there isn’t any barrier between the road and the steep hillside, and second of all I’m not that good at parking. But fortunately the nice parking attendant parked the car for me.
There are still some stairs to climb up to the monastery, but I enjoyed the view at the valley and the green coniferous forest very much. Next to the pay booth there are also a small cafe, which sells souvenirs too, and a bathroom. I just wanted to look up the entry fee for you, but it seems like they closed Sumela Monastery in fall 2015 for three years, in order to do restorations and field work. The monastery itself really is incredible. The older parts are rock-cut, esp. the Rock church and several chapels. They all contain colorful frescoes. All the other buildings are newer and were built of stone. There is also an aqueduct there. There are so many details there that you should have plenty of time.
I am still happy thinking of my trip to Sumela Monastery because it had been on my travel bucket list for a long time. Well, and I went there on my birthday – and I think it is great to fulfill your own wishes on your birthday (like I also did in 2014 when I travelled to Mount Nemrut [here]). Besides, I love all those ancient buildings and history, and it is absolutely breathtaking to stand on the narrow and steep cliff where people built a monastery more than 1,600 years ago – without any modern machine. I mean I am even too lazy to walk the whole way up, and for centuries people had to carry all supplies up the mountain by foot.
Sumela Monastery is supposed to be reopened on Assumption Day (15 August) in 2018.